Space Tourism Definition - Photo by Luc Viatour

What is Space Tourism? Here’s the New Definition.

Space Tourism

The Solar Eclipse is one of the Year’s Biggest Events — Yes, it’s Space Tourism.

August 21, 2017. If you’re a space fan, you know what’s happening on this date. For the first time since 1979, US citizens will see a solar eclipse in its full glory — the shadow of the sun will cross diagonally from Oregon to South Carolina for about two-and-a-half minutes.

While tens of thousands of people are traveling to see the solar eclipse in a few months, many people don’t consider it “space tourism.”

Why is that, exactly?

Maybe the better question: “what is space tourism, exactly?”

Google is kind enough to suggest that space tourism is “the practice of traveling into space for recreational purposes.” Wikipedia adds on “leisure or business purposes” to the definition. At its core, the definition of space tourism focuses on going to space for fun.

When starting The Space Tourism Guide, I made a conscious decision to consider space tourism in a wider context. Space Tourism is not — and should not be — confined to space alone. In the next decade as ‘extraterrestrial space tourism’ gains momentum, we shouldn’t feel confined to watching and waiting. We can all enjoy terrestrial space tourism activities — sometimes called ‘astrotourism’ — , solar eclipses included.

While we can and should consider all of the activities from companies like Virgin GalacticBlue OriginZero2Infinity, and others space tourism, we should not discredit the companies and destinations here on earth who meet the needs and desires for all of us who love to travel for space-related activities. These can vary widely, from cities and museums like Space Center Houston to hotels with space-themed rooms. We at The Space Tourism Guide embrace them all.

The mission of the Space Tourism Guide is to provide information and inspiration for space tourism.

Going forward, you can expect increasing coverage of destinations, hotels, restaurants, tours, and experiences related to outer space. This can include launches, museums and galleries, planetariums — “the sky is the limit,” to make a space pun!

We plan to add resources to help you book these space tourism activities too. Most of them will be on earth, but we hope — in the years to come — the list will also include those in low-earth orbit, lunar, and the space beyond.

We’ll start with the solar eclipse this August, and we hope you’ll enjoy us for the exciting journey ahead.